Universities halt face-to-face teaching
With campuses deserted worldwide, most colleges and universities are still deciding if they will open for in-person classes this fall. Some are planning for the return of students, but many are putting off any final decisions until the end of 2020. Over the past few weeks, some colleges and universities throughout the United States welcomed students back to classrooms with strategies aimed at coronavirus prevention.
Similarly, the United Kingdom efforted to reopen universities in the midst of the pandemic, which could be unraveling soon. The country’s three largest universities called a halt to face-to-face teaching.
The pandemic lesson
While every college would love to be reopened in the fall, some unnoticed old behaviors can create holes that ultimately could put students at risk. More than 80 universities in the UK have reported at least 5,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among students and staff, including more than 1,000 at the University of Manchester, which announced that it was suspending in-person teaching, reported The Guardian.
University outbreaks are tied to party rituals much more than classrooms. The coronavirus spread rates at colleges and universities are frightening where sororities, fraternities and off-campus parties are some of the biggest clusters. Many universities have penalized students after violating the code of conduct regarding the coronavirus.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, said the state could create a “bill of rights” to protect college students who face expulsion for attending parties under COVID-19 rules.
The masked measures
A research conducted by National Public Radio reported an analysis of testing strategies at more than 1,400 institutions, which found more than two-thirds either have no clear testing plan or are only testing “at-risk” students, those who either feel sick or who have had contact with an individual who tested positive for coronavirus.
“Just 25 percent of colleges are conducting mass screening or random “surveillance” testing of students. Only 6 percent are routinely testing all of their students.”
Many elites have agreed upon the priority of reopening campuses in the fall because if colleges stay shuttered, “it’s not a question of whether intuitions will be forced to permanently close, it’s how many.” Campuses will need “rapid testing”, ways to “trace the spread” and “spaces for isolation” for students who get sick.